‘I felt like someone had a knife and they were dragging it up and down my legs’: exploring embodied experiences in adult recreational sport
Wellard, I. 2015. ‘I felt like someone had a knife and they were dragging it up and down my legs’: exploring embodied experiences in adult recreational sport.
Taking part in a physical or sporting activity incorporates a range of corporeal and emotional sensations that are interwoven with the individual body as well as the social context in which the experience occurs. This paper explores the complexity of embodied pleasure within the context of adult recreational sport participation. Drawing upon empirical research in the form of sporting life histories conducted with adults, accounts of pleasure and pain are explored in detail so as to provide a deeper understanding of the pathway to, as well as experience of, in this case, swimming and running. Here, participation is primarily a voluntary decision and considered in the light of previous (non) sporting experiences at school and as young adults. The intention is to reveal the complex processes through which a physical activity is experienced, in an attempt to qualitatively account for the multitude of individual and external influences that determine whether participation is considered enjoyable, and, ultimately, worth doing again.
Connell’s (2005) concept of body-reflexive practices which acknowledge physiological, psychological and sociological factors informs the notion of body-reflexive pleasures (Wellard 2013) which are central in determining whether sporting activity is considered pleasurable or not. Adopting an embodied approach to the adult sporting body provides a deeper understanding of the not so straight-forward patterns of physical activity experience and participation.
|The Sociological Lens and the Wellbeing of Sport, ISSA 2015 World Congress of Sociology of Sport
|Publication process dates
|05 Aug 2015
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